Laura’s 10k-a-day Challenge
Laura Chandler, Wycombe Abbey’s Healthcare Manager, has taken up the challenge during lockdown to start running 10km every day. We interviewed her about her journey below:
1. Tell us about your running.
I had a number of runs booked for this year; The Wokingham half marathon, which I completed. I was due to run the Liverpool Rock and Roll half marathon later in May – again, postponed. Then two 24-hour Endurance races – Endure 24, one in Reading, one in Leeds- both have been postponed. I am due to run the Royal Parks half marathon in October.
2. Is there a specific charity appeal you are supporting?
I was planning to raise money for MIND by running these races. When lockdown was announced I couldn’t see how my fundraising could continue – no races, no sponsorship. I had decided to support MIND this year as the role I have at Wycombe Abbey brings me into contact with many people, both girls and staff, struggling with some aspect of their mental health, and I am passionate about supporting people, and making it clear that it’s OK to struggle with your mental health.
3. What is the best bit about this charity challenge, what is the most difficult part?
The most difficult bit was being concerned about my own mental wellbeing during lockdown, as I am usually very active, always on the go, doing various activities, and here I was stuck at home, allowed out once a day. I have a beautiful country park, Dinton Pastures, close to where I live, which I can run to. So on that first morning of lockdown I took myself out there, and started exploring various routes. The best part was that I started noticing things – it was so peaceful, and I wasn’t in a hurry anymore, so I started taking photos and posting them on my Facebook page. I went out without any clear plan for the next couple of days, and established a route I really liked. Then the idea of the challenge came to me – I was going to run 10km every day during lockdown. This was something that I could now fundraise for! Friends and family who not able to go out started waiting for my daily update on Facebook, and I realised I could actually take decent photos on my phone. So, I asked if people were enjoying the photos would they then donate to my JustGiving page. And the money started to come in!
4. Is anyone else at Wycombe Abbey involved in this activity? Would you encourage others to do something similar?
Other staff at Wycombe Abbey are involved in an ‘Around the World’ challenge via Teams where we are all recording our daily activity. This has been great to be involved in, and a good way to encourage one another. I encourage everyone to get out in the fresh air everyday – walk, run, cycle… it doesn’t matter, but has so much benefit for us at this challenging time.
5. How is the challenge going as of now?
I am now on day 49, I have a run every morning. I head out around 6am and it is a challenge to get out of bed every day at that time, but it has become a habit now. I can honestly say it has kept me fit and well, and has been vital for my mental wellbeing. It sets me up for the day. There has only been one morning of torrential rain – but that did not stop me! The other morning it was -4 degrees when I set out. I have slowed down, become more mindful, and have noticed so much, and now really appreciate the beauty around me. I have never run every day before – I’m a 3 runs a week gir l- so this has really challenged me physically – I have slowed down to prevent injuries. But the further I go, I just cannot give up now! Will I hit100 days?!
6. How can people sponsor you/support the charity?
You can sponsor my fundraiser and MIND charity here : https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/laura-chandler9?utm_source=Sharethis&utm_medium=fundraising&utm_content=laura-chandler9&utm_campaign=pfp-email&utm_term=eeabe3bec1bf434c9cd43bb9f206509f